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AFMC decision regarding the 2021 R-1 match

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – May 4, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has led to medical students being removed from clinical rotations in early March, 2020. Students from the class of 2021 will be returning to clinical rotations after having missed up to 4 months of clerkship. This will have a significant effect on the final year of medical school. The top issue is the ability for students to become competent in core disciplines and have reasonable access to home and visiting electives to enable career decision making. This has led to the need to compress the timeline of the R-1 Match processes to ensure that students have reasonable exposure before applying to residency that graduates will start on July 1, 2021.

The AFMC Resident Matching Committee (ARMC) has been meeting regularly to work on a compressed timeline. ARMC membership includes representation from the Faculty of Medicine Deans, Postgraduate Deans, Undergraduate Deans, Student Affairs Deans, the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, the Fédération des médecins residents du Québec, the Fédération médicale étudiante du Québec, Resident Doctors of Canada and the Canadian Resident Matching Service. All members of the ARMC had the opportunity to consult with the group they represent. The AFMC Board Chair, Dr. David Anderson and the Chair of the AFMC Standing Committee on Education, Dr. Preston Smith were directly engaged and also consulted with the leadership of the Chairs of Family Medicine, Family Medicine Program Directors and the Chairs of Medicine.

The AFMC Board has made the following decisions regarding the 2021 R-1 Match:

  • Interviews will be in a virtual format including those for local candidates. 
  • The match timeline will be:
    • The Last Day of the Application Period: February 7, 2021
    • The File Review Period: February 8 to March 5, 2021
    • The Virtual Interview Period: March 8 to March 28, 2021
    • The Second Iteration Match Day being no later than: May 18, 2021.

The ARMC has identified opportunities for process improvements that will support all those involved in match activities. AFMC will work with our faculties and partners to ensure that improvements to processes will enable a successful R-1 match for 2021. 

We will be providing regular communications regarding the 2021 R-1 Match as information becomes available. Thank you to our entire medical education community for their extensive engagement and flexibility during these challenging times.